After seeing this comment in the War Flight Sim thread, I thought this could be a good stand alone topic. I'd answer my own question with "a resounding yes!" This is the real genius of the "free game" model. If the game is compelling enough, you become willing to pay for certain advantages and certain equipment. I'm encourage all free game models to be discussed, bu I'll mention World of Tanks, because it so expertly meets "free game" standard. No, you don't have to pay for a premium subscription (purchased for a day, 3 days, a week, or a month, or a year), but your xp accrual will be slower, and you'll reach a level sooner where when you come out of the starting box and fall flat on your face, you'll have a net loss of income. That income is acquired for the purpose of buying gear and new tanks (after xp is earned). If you decide to buy the subscription it's very competitive and less expensive than other subscription models. No you don't have to buy premium tanks (whose prices range from $4-50), there are more than enough tanks to fill the bill, but the advantage of the premium tanks is that they are consistent money makers, granted the inability to lose money when you experience a poor performance. Of note there are no Tier 10 (the current top tier) premium tanks for purchase, so they keep the wallet warriors out of the top tiers. Of note, it would cause havoc and substantially degrade the game if they did allow it. No, you don't have to buy premium ammo (which can be bought with real money or earned in-game silver), but you'll end up with less penetrating rounds. However, I don't consider "gold" ammo as worth the cost. It's very expensive and its use gives an advantage (when you can penetrate) but by no means ensures victory. And no, you don't have to buy garage slots (the game default is 8) if you are willing to give up old tanks to get new tanks... There are some tanks I won't give up so I'll end up spending about $1.50 for new slots and I have been a subscriber for the last 12 months.